There are many ways to cope with the abuse that has been done to us. Those who have been the victim of narcissistic abuse have two options. To stay a victim or to become a survivor. I chose the latter. I am only 7 months out from a nightmare with my narcissist and I still have to deal with him because we are going through a drawn out divorce battle with children, but I have been making little discoveries of what has helped me along the journey to rediscover myself and I wanted to share those with you. Please feel free to comment and add any that have helped you.
First and foremost,
Go NO CONTACT, unless you have children with one, then go as little contact as the court will allow.
Adopt a theme song. This sounds funny, but it really works. One of the joys of breaking free from my narcissist has been the rediscovery of my love of music. I had let my love of listening to music drift from me when I was with my narcissist. He robbed the joy from my life in many ways. Now, I find myself listening to upbeat music again that makes me look forward to future. My theme song is “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone. Each time I hear it I can’t help but dance.
Pick a new perfume or cologne. A scent is a powerful thing, when a person chooses an aroma it is extremely personal to their tastes, and by applying it to their body they are sending it out to the world as an extension of who they are. Everyone has a favorite perfume or cologne. But the other day, I tried something new and I couldn’t believe the effect it had on me! It did not remind me of “me with him,” it was like I put on a fragrance that was just all me, now. It instantly added a boost of confidence as if I were going through a metamorphosis and becoming something more beautiful without him.
Make a list or two or three. This list can be what you learned from your last relationship. It can be what you are looking for in the next relationship. Or it can be what you want to accomplish in you life during the next 5 years. But a list is helpful because it allows you to identify your priorities, you weaknesses, your mistakes, your strengths, your goals. Seeing your thoughts down on paper can jog your mind into making it happen.
Listen to old music that you used to listen to before you met your narcissist. This helps you to remember how you use to feel, it helps you regain strength and confidence of who you used to be. You begin to uncover who you really are, not who he or she made you into.
Take care of yourself, without guilt! Get your hair done, get that pedicure or massage. Just do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t forget to eat well and try to work some exercise into your daily routine. Even if you start small, it pays big dividends in your self confidence and health.
Take a trip on you own. I am working on making this happen. Someday, I dream of going to Ireland or Scotland. I have heard that traveling by yourself is an amazing way to soul search. I don’t have the money or time to do this now, however, even just spending a day by myself without the internet or phone can be nourishing. In my case, it will have to do for now.
Read good books that interest you. It is so comforting and healing to let you mind escape the present and focus on bringing a story to life in your thoughts.
Do things that your narcissist forbid you to do when you were with him or her. In my case, that is pretty much anything.
Believe that you CAN!
Meet with old friends, or make new ones. You may be surprised at the response of old friends if you try to reach out to them. I was.
Talk to a support person, join a group or find a therapist who specializes in recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Look at old pictures of yourself before your narcissist entered the scene. You will be amazed!
I moved back to my childhood home after leaving my narcissist. I was up late one night just exploring my old bedroom. Looking under my bed, I discovered a treasure trove of who I used to be. I pulled out this wooden box filled to the brim of pictures of me with old friends, travels and adventures. I couldn’t believe at who I was looking at! I was happy, confident, fun, exciting. I forgot who I use to be. I come across a picture that I took when I was up in the sky parasailing in Jamaica. I forgot that I had even done that! I couldn’t believe how badly I disassociated with myself when I was married to my narcissist. He tried to destroy who I was and replace me with what he wanted me to be. It made me sick to think that I almost let that really happen. But now I am the warpath to win myself back!
Plant your feet, find yourself again and soon you will rise up tall and strong. You will be surprised how beautiful you can grow. Know that you are not alone, you can win this battle too!